Early Learning PA

As principal members of Early Learning PA, Trying Together participates in three campaigns with strategic advocacy goals:



Pre-K for PA

The Pre-K for PA campaign aims to ensure that every child in Pennsylvania, regardless of socioeconomic background, enters kindergarten ready to succeed. A founding member in 2014, we know that children with access to high quality pre-k are more likely to be successful academically and have improved social skills. Despite these findings, fewer than forty percent of income-eligible three- and four-year olds are able to access publicly funded, high-quality programs.

Advocate together with us and our partners for high-quality pre-k for all young children in Pennsylvania:

Pre-k funding for the 2018-2019 Pennsylvania state budget is currently $192.3M for Pre-K Counts and $59.2M for Head Start Supplemental. View the full budget history here.



Childhood Begins At Home

Home visiting programs meet the comprehensive needs of at-risk infants, toddlers, young children, and their families through voluntary, evidence-based home visiting.

Several of these operate in Pennsylvania including:

  • Early Head Start
  • Family Check-Up
  • Healthy Families America
  • Nurse Family Partnership
  • Parents as Teachers

Evidence-based home visiting in Pennsylvania is funded across two line items. While Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) funds go exclusively to that model, approximately $9.5 million became available in the Community Based Family Centers line in 2017 for all evidence-based models to apply for in order to expand home visiting services.

Trying Together joined the Early Learning PA home visiting workgroup in the summer of 2016 following the enactment of the ’16-’17 budget. In 2018, the workgroup launched the Childhood Begins at Home campaign comprised of a coalition of advocates working to help policymakers and the public understand the value of evidence-based home visiting and effective ways to support parents.

Home visiting funding for the 2018-2019 Pennsylvania state budget is currently $13.2M for NFP and $13.6M for Community Based Family Centers. View the full budget history here.

Start Strong PA

Access, affordability, and quality of child care remain critical to the needs of children, families, and communities regionally and across the nation. In Pennsylvania, the Child Care Services line item provides subsidized child care for low income working families; the Child Care Assistance line item provides child care to families receiving TANF; and a portion of the funds are set aside to support Keystone STARS quality improvements for child care programs.

In summer 2015, Trying Together convened an Early Learning PA child care workgroup. In 2019, the workgroup formally launched the Start Strong PA campaign. Through this campaign, advocates will work to improve access to high-quality child care (beginning with infants and toddlers) by asking for strategic policy changes and investment increases in Pennsylvania.

Child care funding for the 2018-2019 Pennsylvania state budget is currently $162.5M for Child Care Services and $139.9M for Child Care Assistance. View the full budget history here.

Statewide Campaign Launch

On January 29, Start Strong PA officially launched their statewide campaign at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex in Harrisburg; approximately 75 early childhood advocates including state legislators, professionals, and families with children in child care were in attendance.

The launch, featuring a free coffee bar from Little Amps Coffee Roasters, pictures of legislators’ young children, and inspiring conversations on the important role that access to high-quality child care plays in the lives of infants and toddlers, concluded later in the afternoon with a press conference.

To see quotes from several Pennsylvania legislators and learn more, read our news post.

Watch the full press conference.

Sign-On to Support

Help us inform and engage Pennsylvania policymakers on the changes necessary to increase access, affordability, and quality in infant/toddler child care programs and sign-on your support here or download, complete, and email this sign-on form to info@startstrongpa.org.


Webinars were held Thursday, November 1, 2018 to introduce advocates to the Campaign. View both and see the slides below.

Learn more about the campaign with this fact sheet.

Share Your Story

We need educators who have experience working with infants and toddlers to share their story by recording a video. By sharing these experiences, you can help us inform Pennsylvania legislators and advocate for the necessary changes to make healthy development outcomes for infants and toddlers possible.

Share this flyer with your networks.

After filling out the fields below, press the “Submit” button. A link will be provided in this space on the page. Click the link to upload the video.

Nontraditional Hours Child Care Survey

In 2017, The Women and Girls Foundation partnered with Trying Together to advocate for affordability and access to high-quality child care for young children, their families, and the adults who interact with them. With their support,  Trying Together captured the following child care stories to share the challenges local parents and caregivers face. Currently, anyone who uses child care between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. is invited to take an online survey and be entered to win a $50 gift card.

The results of this survey will help to inform a plan for education and advocacy around this topic.

Share this flyer with your networks.